For various reasons, the attendance of a husband during childbirth is very unusual in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, some come along, and can experience a range of feelings, positive and negative. A helpful research article from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth concludes that
“… men’s preparation for attendance at labour and childbirth is a critical factor for a positive experience. Men may need education about labour and childbirth processes so that they are aware of what to expect when they accompany their partners for childbirth. This awareness may enable them to support their partners emotionally throughout the birthing process. The midwives have a duty to ensure that the emotional needs of their clients (the couples) are addressed. This practice could enhance a positive birthing experience for both women and their male partners. One of the midwifery practices that would help facilitate the positive birthing experience is to orient men to the routine care during labour and birth. This orientation would help mentally prepare them. The informational needs of male partners can be met through childbirth classes and also through easy-to-read materials. These adjuncts should be optimally used to help busy midwives better serve their [patients].” See:
For the first time, Maternity Africa welcomed a prospective father to Kivulini Maternity Centre to accompany his second wife, and who offered her much support and reassurance. Neema is 19 years old and did not go to school, so her father decided that she should get married. She became pregnant shortly after her wedding, and attended the antenatal clinic at Kivulini Maternity Centre. After being in pain for three days, she was taken to a local hospital and did not receive the care she needed. So, her husband brought her to Kivulini Maternity Centre to give birth to a baby girl. Neema’s husband accompanied her to the labour ward to help her.
Her husband was very happy to support Neema during labour, knowing that women have a very difficult time during childbirth. He wanted to give his wife hope by accompanying her. He and his wife are very grateful for the excellent care they received from Maternity Africa.
If you would like to help people like Neema to give birth safely, please feel free to donate to the work of Maternity Africa by following the link below. Thank you!